Interview with Filmmaker Ethan Knecht (“Famous Adjacent”)

Famous Adjacent, or (How I Came To Terms With My Own Insignificance Through Googling Myself) played to rave reviews at the May 2022 Toronto Comedy Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My last film, Boathouse Row, took 9 years from idea to completion and was about intergenerational family trauma. I’m proud of it but the process of making it was very heavy. I knew I wanted to make a comedy and I had bits and pieces of random old footage of me around and a diminishing google return and I knew I wanted to pull something together fromthose things.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

About a year.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Existentially Offensive

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

I felt the film hinged, to some degree, on the interview with the other Ethan Knecht. Sending him the initial Facebook or Instagram message was scary. If he found this too werid or didn’t reply I didn’t know how to get around that. Thankfully, he was down and has a. great sense of humor.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

A main reason for submitting a film to a festival is to form some idea and see if it lands with strangers. It’s very special to receive this full formed artifact of the moment after a kind stranger watches something you have made.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I was in college and my friend said he wanted to major in film and felt very jealous.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Odd tie between. Dancer in The Dark and Home Alone

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

This festival is such a unique experience I really don’t have an answer to that.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

My experience on FilmFreeway is pretty seamless. I know some people that impulse buy late at night. I don’t really do that but. I do. find that I impulse submit to festivals late tonight through that platform. It would have been much more difficult to do. that back in the day when I had to burn a DVD and send snail mail in a giant envelope.

10. What is your favorite meal?

It’s a super duchy answer but right now the Raviolone (one giant ravioli with a leaky egg in it.) from Westwind Orchard in Accord, NY. My daughter likes to dip into her college fund and eat two of them at once!

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m still sketching it out but my next film is going to be about abs, Jesus, and Andrew W.K.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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